Alternative Energy and the Americas

Stanford Ovshinsky

April 8, 2008

Alternative Energy and the Americas


Stanford R. Ovshinsky has been called “the modern world’s most important energy visionary.” His career has combined path-breaking scientific work, the creation of new industries and a deep commitment to “make a better world.” His work on energy and the environment has particular significance for the Americas.

Ovshinsky developed a new class of disordered or amorphous materials in an area of physics now called "Ovonics." He translated these scientific advances into non-polluting approaches to producing and storing energy from thin film solar technology that is mass produced to hydrogen fuel cells and storage devices. The nickel metal hydride batteries he developed currently power most hybrid cars.

Stan Ovshinsky holds about 350 U.S. patents and has authored more than 275 scientific papers in fields as diverse as neurophysiology and amorphous semiconductors. He has won innumerable honors including the 2005 Innovation Award for Energy and the Environment from the Economist magazine.

He and his late wife, Iris, were named Heroes of Chemistry 2000 by the American Chemical Society for "advances in electrochemical, energy storage and energy generation, including the development of Ovonic nickel metal hydride (NIMH) rechargeable batteries, regenerative fuel cells, solid hydrogen storage system and amorphous silicon photovoltaics" and for having "made significant and lasting contributions to global human welfare."

Stan Ovshinsky is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

More Information

Read "A Revolution Fueled by the Sun," Avery Cohn's article for the Spring 2008 Berkeley Review. 

Read the introduction of Mr. Ovshinsky by Arthur Bienenstock in the Spring 2008 Berkeley Review.

Read "The Einstein of Alternative Energy?" CLAS Chair Harley Shaiken's article for the Spring 2008 Berkeley Review.